Saddam Hussein:   Crimes and Dangers (no more)

Good Riddance to a Brute

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1. Initiation of eight year war with Iran in 1980. The Iraqis suffered an estimated 375,000 casualties, the equivalent of 5.6 million for a population the size of the United States. Another 60,000 were taken prisoner by the Iranians. Iran's losses may have included more than 1 million people killed or maimed. The war claimed at least 300,000 Iranian lives and injured more than 500,000, out of a total population which by the war's end was nearly 60 million.

2. Invasion of Kuwait in 1990. About 100,000 Iraqi troops were killed. During the occupation and as their troops retreated Iraq embarked on a systematic destruction of Kuwait's oil industry. Iraqi forces set fire to 789 individual Kuwaiti oil wells. The attendant results were catastrophic both from an economic and ecological standpoint. It was estimated that six million barrels of oil were burning per day circa March 1991 in Kuwait.

3. The use of poison gas and other war crimes against Iran and the Iranian people during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. Iraq summarily executed thousands of Iranian prisoners of war as a matter of policy.

4.   The "Anfal" campaign in the late 1980's against the Iraqi Kurds, including the use of poison gas on cities. In one of the worst single mass killings in recent history, Iraq dropped chemical weapons on Halabja in 1988, in which as many as 5,000 people — mostly civilians — were killed.

5. Crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq. This includes the destruction of over 3,000 villages. The Iraqi government's campaign of forced deportations of Kurdish and Turkomen families to southern Iraq has created approximately 900,000 internally displaced citizens throughout the country.

6. Crimes against humanity and possibly genocide against Marsh Arabs and Shi'a Arabs in southern Iraq. Entire populations of villages have been forcibly expelled. Government forces have burned their houses and fields, demolished houses with bulldozers, and undertaken a deliberate campaign to drain and poison the marshes. Thousands of civilians have been summarily executed.

7. Efforts to Acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction and Develop Functional Delivery Systems

Biological Weapons

In 2001, an Iraqi defector, Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, said he had visited twenty secret facilities for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Mr. Saeed, a civil engineer, supported his claims with stacks of Iraqi government contracts, complete with technical specifications. Mr. Saeed said Iraq used companies to purchase equipment with the blessing of the United Nations - and then secretly used the equipment for their weapons programs.

Iraq admitted to producing biological agents, and after the 1995 defection of a senior Iraqi official, Iraq admitted to the weaponization of thousands of liters of anthrax, botulinim toxin, and aflatoxin for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft.

United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) experts concluded that Iraq's declarations on biological agents vastly understated the extent of its program, and that Iraq actually produced two to four times the amount of most agents, including anthrax and botulinim toxin, than it had declared.

UNSCOM reported to the UN Security Council in April 1995 that Iraq had concealed its biological weapons program and had failed to account for 3 tons of growth material for biological agents.

The Department of Defense reported in January 2001 that Iraq has continued to work on its weapons programs, including converting L-29 jet trainer aircraft for potential vehicles for the delivery of chemical or biological weapons.

The al-Dawrah Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Facility is one of two known biocontainment level-three facilities in Iraq that have an extensive air handling and filtering system. Iraq has admitted that this was a biological weapons facility. In 2001, Iraq announced that it would begin renovating the plant without UN approval, ostensibly to produce vaccines that it could more easily and more quickly import through the UN.

Saddam Hussein continues its attempts to procure mobile biological weapons laboratories that could be used for further research and development.

Chemical Weapons

Saddam Hussein launched a large-scale chemical weapons attack against Iraq's Kurdish population in the late 1980s, killing thousands. On at least 10 occasions, Saddam Hussein's military forces have attacked Iranian and Kurdish targets with combinations of mustard gas and nerve agents through the use of aerial bombs, 122-millimeter rockets, and conventional artillery shells. Saddam Hussein continues his efforts to develop chemical weapons

Gaps identified by UNSCOM in Iraqi accounting and current production capabilities strongly suggest that Iraq maintains stockpiles of chemical agents, probably VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard.

Iraq has not accounted for hundreds of tons of chemical precursors and tens of thousands of unfilled munitions, including Scud variant missile warheads.

Iraq has not accounted for at least 15,000 artillery rockets that in the past were its preferred vehicle for delivering nerve agents, nor has it accounted for about 550 artillery shells filled with mustard agent.

Iraq continues to rebuild and expand dual-use infrastructure that it could quickly divert to chemical weapons production, such as chlorine and phenol plants.

Iraq is seeking to purchase chemical weapons agent precursors and applicable production equipment, and is making an effort to hide activities at the Fallujah plant, which was one of Iraq's chemical weapons production facilities before the Gulf War.

At Fallujah and three other plants, Iraq now has chlorine production capacity far higher than any civilian need for water treatment, and the evidence indicates that some of its chlorine imports are being diverted for military purposes.

Nuclear Weapons

Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program before the Gulf War and continues his work to develop a nuclear weapon

A new report released on September 9, 2002 from the International Institute for Strategic Studies - an independent research organization - concludes that Saddam Hussein could build a nuclear bomb within months if he were able to obtain fissile material.

Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb. In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes which officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Iraq has withheld documentation relevant to its past nuclear program, including data about enrichment techniques, foreign procurement, weapons design, experimental data, and technical documents.

Iraq still has the technical expertise and some of the infrastructure needed to pursue its goal of building a nuclear weapon.

Saddam Hussein has repeatedly met with his nuclear scientists over the past two years, signaling his continued interest in developing his nuclear program.

Ballistic Missiles & The Super Gun

Iraq is believed to be developing ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers - as prohibited by the UN Security Council Resolution 687.

Discrepancies identified by UNSCOM in Saddam Hussein's declarations suggest that Iraq retains a small force of Scud-type missiles and an undetermined number of launchers and warheads.

Iraq continues work on the al-Samoud liquid propellant short-range missile (which can fly beyond the allowed 150 kilometers). The al-Samoud and the solid propellant Ababil-100 appeared in a military parade in Baghdad on December 31, 2000, suggesting that both systems are nearing operational deployment.

Saddam tried to obtain a "super gun" that had a potential range of 6,000 miles.  In 1988 he gave the go ahead for construction of this weapon.  In a "cloak-and-dagger" operation, plans were made for its construction only to be thwarted by the 1990 assassination of the gun's designer Gerald Bull by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence organization.  (PBS)

The al-Rafah-North facility is Iraq's principal site for testing liquid propellant missile engines. Iraq has been building a new, larger test stand there that is clearly intended for testing prohibited longer-range missile engines.

At their al-Mamoun facility, the Iraqis have rebuilt structures that had been dismantled by UNSCOM that were originally designed to manufacture solid propellant motors for the Badr-2000 missile program.

8. Support for International Terrorism

Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians.

Iraq shelters several prominent Palestinian terrorist organizations in Baghdad, including the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), which is known for aerial attacks against Israel and is headed by Abu Abbas, who carried out the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered U.S. citizen Leon Klinghoffer.

Iraq shelters the Abu Nidal Organization, an international terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist attacks in twenty countries, killing or injuring almost 900 people. Targets have included the United States and several other Western nations. Each of these groups have offices in Baghdad and receive training, logistical assistance, and financial aid from the government of Iraq.

In April 2002, Saddam Hussein increased from $10,000 to $25,000 the money offered to families of Palestinian suicide/homicide bombers. The rules for rewarding suicide/homicide bombers are strict and insist that only someone who blows himself up with a belt of explosives gets the full payment. Payments are made on a strict scale, with different amounts for wounds, disablement, death as a "martyr" and $25,000 for a suicide bomber. Mahmoud Besharat, a representative on the West Bank who is handing out to families the money from Saddam, said, "You would have to ask President Saddam why he is being so generous. But he is a revolutionary and he wants this distinguished struggle, the intifada, to continue."

Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility in Iraq known as Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations.

1993, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) directed and pursued an attempt to assassinate, through the use of a powerful car bomb, former U.S. President George H. Bush and the Emir of Kuwait.  Kuwaiti authorities thwarted the terrorist plot and arrested 16 suspects, led by two Iraqi nationals.

The most damning linkage between Iraq and al Qaeda came shortly after September 11, 2001, when Czech authorities revealed that one of the September 11 terrorists met in Prague with a known Iraqi intelligence officer prior to the attacks on New York and Washington.  Mohamed Atta, who probably flew the first plane to hit the World Trade Center, met in April 2001 with the second-secretary to Iraq's embassy in Prague, Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani. Mr. Al-Ani was later expelled from the Czech Republic on suspicion of spying and of plotting to destroy American installations.

Key Web Sites

University of Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control:  Iraq Watch

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441

Wall Street Journal Article by Colin Powell

Text of Speech of Colin Powell before the U.N.

Text of Congressional Joint Resolution on Iraq

PBS:   Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction

Newsweek:  Iraq's Most Wanted 

New York Times:  Saddam's Bomb

The New Republic:  The Big One

The New Yorker:  The Unknown - Al Qaeda and Iraq

PBS: Secrets of His Life and Leadership:  Interview with Said Aburish

PBS:   Analyses of Options

Atlantic Monthly:   Tales of the Tyrant